A strip club is a strip club. The marketing people insist on dubbing them "gentlemen's clubs", but we all know what goes on. People, usually women, but sometimes men, take their clothes off, lap dance, pole dance and generally gyrate to throbbing or slow sexy music, as tipsy patrons stuff bills into their G-strings. These days, they come complete with "fantasy viewing rooms", where you can pretend to be a sultan or an English lord, or some such.
Cheap they are not. Covers can reach up to $100, drink prices are stratospheric, and private VIP packages can break the bank. But, by the time you get to midnight, you probably won't care. Here are 15 of the best strip clubs in the world.
15 K5 Relax Club - Prague, Czech Republic
The pole dancing show is only the beginning. Located in central Prague, K5 Relax Club is a kind of upmarket strip club cum country club. Located over 5 floors, it calls itself "an oasis of entertainment and relaxation." Working girls are legal in the Czech Republic (and most of Europe), and there's an escort service, in addition to the sauna and steam bath. If you aren't totally relaxed after sharing quality time with your chosen one playing emperor in the Roman Room, K5 will organize everything from golf lessons, to exclusive city tours for you. Still need to unwind? Try the Tantra Sexological Bodyworker massage.
14 Scores - New York City
Don't call Scores (get it?) a strip club in front of owner/manager Ed Norwick. It's a "gentlemen's club" spread over 3 floors with lap dancers, a main stage for stripping (sorry Ed), private rooms (Howard Stern reportedly has one), and an upscale restaurant called Robert's. Rolling in dough? Hire the Presidential Suite where the Scores girls will do private lap dances, back rubs, "and anything else you can think of." That pretty much says it all. Reportedly, George Clooney (without Amal?), Chuck Norris and Madonna have frequented the pulsating, laser-lit venue. Ed doesn't seem to take much time off. Who can blame him?
13 Temptations - Bristol, England
Like most other strip club web sites, Temptation's job posting asks, if you have what it takes to swing on a pole and take your clothes off, and promises "full training". Stripping 101? The lower level is a bar complete with a 10 foot pole (with "ring side seats"). On the ground floor, you can sip sparkly in the champagne bar, or take out a 2nd mortgage and rent one of their VIP suites that can accommodate a crowd (up to 60), and comes complete with leather couches, a private pole and a pool table. A pool table? On the upper level you can have a private dance (with full strip) in your very own private booth, or have a VIP private "dance" in one of the 6 fantasy-themed rooms. One intriguing item is a service for "couples" who want to experience Temptations together.
12 Spearmint Rhino - Las Vegas, Nevada
Maxim has called Spearmint Rhino "the reigning king of Las Vegas topless temples". Did you know there is an Exotic Dancer Awards Show? Well, Spearmint was voted the best Vegas strip (gentlemen's) club. With 250 exotic dancers, a private Rhino room, and an over the top Vegas crowd, it is certainly not the place to go for a quiet night out. So wildly successful, it has opened 15 other locations in the U.S., as well as clubs in England and Australia. Vegas is such a hot weekend club spot that strippers from Los Angeles flock in, silicone and all, to work the weekend crowd. So, if she tells you she is a resting actress, take it for what it's worth.
11 Seventh Heaven - Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo's original strip club, Seventh Heaven is decidedly un-Japanese, with few Japanese dancers. Step inside and you could be in Vegas or New York. Except the prices are in Yen. There's a steep cover of around $85 that gets you two drinks, and if you want a four minute lap dance, that's another $85 or so. When you get to your table, the management will line up around 15 girls for you to choose from, and the on-stage pole dance show is pretty much non-stop, with girls changing every song or two. Come prepared. Tokyo clubs are much more touchy-feely than American clubs. So, expect a peck or a rub or two.
10 10. 4Play Gentlemen's Club - Los Angeles, California
Think lots of silicone and bleached blonde hair, so-called resting actresses, nude stage shows and pole dancing to die for, and you've got 4Play. A word of warning: There's no booze (but there is a VIP bottle service), but with lap dances, couch dances, even bed dances, you probably won't care that much if you opt to stay dry. Their website reminds you that "when you are in L.A., 4Play comes first." Right. Boasting about their full nude stage shows, viewed by patrons seated at dining tables, they also hint that you might see a celebrity or two.
9 9. Night Flight - Moscow, Russia
Located near Red Square on Tverskaya Street, Night Flight has been going strong for 23 years. Run by Swedes, it is said to have great service and some of the best food in Moscow. And let's not forget, some of the most beautiful women to be found just about anywhere. The club is decidedly upmarket, with strippers performing on balconies above the tables. Who's got time for food? Don't be surprised if you are approached by a working girl or two, maybe a Russian gold digger. Don't forget, yes is "da". No is "niet". You're on your own after that.
8 Mary's Club - Portland, Oregon
For a city its size, Portland has an amazing number of strip clubs (Portland is a port, after all), but Mary's is probably the most iconic. Founded in 1954, it is not posh or swanky, more a joint than a club, but it feels homey and real. It's a kind of neon landmark, where its founder, Roy Keller's daughter serves drinks behind the bar and his granddaughter gyrates on stage. A true family business. Look out for their Topless Blonde Ale. And for the topless blondes. Some have said it is more of a burlesque comedy show, where strippers feed coins into the on-stage jukebox, crack jokes and chat with the crowd. It's an American institution, in the best sense of the word.
7 7. 2001 Odyssey - Tampa, Florida
Why 2001 Odyssey? Maybe after Stanley Kubrick's iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey film. After all, there is a spaceship on the roof. Like Mary's, 2001 Odyssey is unimposing from the outside, but once you get in, it's all gyrating blondes, brunettes and red heads. It's full nude and pulsating with light and juking with throbbing music. More importantly, it's a bargain, as strip clubs go. In fact, $25 buys you a full service lap dance. The club is fairly small, and gets crowded. So come early. And check out their Facebook page for the latest hottie on a beach picture.
6 Le Crazy Horse - Paris, France
Le Crazy Horse calls itself "avant-garde". Some say it's just quirky, kinky, and fun. Dances are choreographed by a noted French choreographer, and lighting illuminates, but tantalizingly hides the good bits. A favorite with Asian businessmen, it carries on the tradition of Folies Bergere. Maybe you're interested in spending New Years at the Horse? Packages start at around $200. If you can't make it to Paris, check out their road show schedule. There's even a Crazy Horse show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
5 Playhouse - Warsaw, Poland
This club is definitely a class act. Billed as the finest in Warsaw, it meanders over 3 levels, with a warm, if slightly quirky, atmosphere. It's 4 bars are certainly the center of the action, with dancers and girls without much to keep them warm wandering about in lingerie. It is actually a champagne cocktail kind of place, with a decidedly kinky vibe. The girly pictures on the web site are captioned in Polish. But then again, who really cares.
4 Chippendales - Las Vegas, Nevada
As we mentioned in the intro, the clubs featured on this list are not exclusive to men. Here's one for the girls. According to Vegas.com, this act is dubbed "The Ultimate Girls Night Out." Watch the guys gyrate, sing, dance, grind and strip. Oh, and body butter even comes into the picture somewhere. How do the waiters look? Just like you might expect, buff Chippendale wannabes with pecs to die for. If you get too steamed up, retire to the luxurious ladies room (Flirt Lounge) with sofas and vanities to cool off.
3 Larry Flynt's Hustler Club - New York City
This place is far from being subtle. It's in your face sexy and raunchy, with just enough leather furniture and gilt trimmings to save it. Born on the back of Flynt's pornographic Hustler Magazine, it does blockbuster business year round. They get you in by giving you a free club pass, and then the credit cards start to take a beating with dancers, drinks and even food. For more money, you can retire to the champagne bar or lounge in private viewing rooms. Don't forget to check out their "TV spot" on their website. The girls, as you would expect, are sexy and gorgeous.
2 The Lodge - Dallas, Texas
This strip club is very Texas, with soaring ceilings, wood paneling, dead things mounted on the wall. The girls? Think Texas big hair and smiles, with all the right equipment in abundance. They dance, they prowl around in cat suits, they do acrobatics above you as you eat or drink. Fire acts, juggling, and live snakes even get some air time on The Lodge's impressive six stages. Howard Stern is reportedly a fan. Give them your email, and you can claim a free lunch and see for yourself.
1 Penthouse Club - New Orleans, Louisiana
Penthouse Club was voted the best New Orleans strip club, for 3 years running, this Bourbon Street club actually has an excellent restaurant (not always the case in strip clubs where girls and booze come first). If this didn't impress you enough already, they even do a naked sushi event, where the girls' important bits are covered with food. Do we really care if it's a little raunchy and unsanitary? You can even check out the naked girl playing in a big bowl of soapy water. This certainly defines, "Wet and wild".